I am interested in the health and culture of the early and central middle ages in Europe, and am currently working on two major research projects:

  • Effaced from History? Facial Difference and its Impact from Antiquity to the Present Day, a collaborative project that has already received Seed funding from the Wellcome Trust and which incorporates my own research on medieval disfigurement. Project blog here.
  • The Enclosed Garden: Pleasure, Contemplation and Cure in the Medieval Hortus Conclusus (PI Professor Liz Herbert McAvoy), in which my role is to explore examples of historical enclosed gardens and their owners. Project blog here.


I first joined Swansea in an honorary capacity in the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research (MEMO) in 2011.

Research groups: MEMO at Swansea; Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship; Society for the Study of the Medieval Mediterranean; Society for the Social History of Medicine

Publications

  1. Looking for Burn Victims or Survivors in Medieval Europe. In Trauma in Medieval Society. (pp. 93-104). Leiden: Brill.
  2. Corpora and cultural transmission? Political uses of the body in Norman texts, 1050-1150. In People, Texts and Artefacts: Cultural Transmission in the Medieval Norman Worlds, edited by David Bates, Eduardo d'Angelo and Elisabeth van Houts. (pp. 213-229). London: Institute of Historical Research.
  3. & Strange Fruits: Grafting, Foreigners and the Garden Imaginary in Northern France and Germany, 1250-1350. Speculum
  4. Studying Gender in Medieval Europe: Historical Approaches. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. Sexuality. In A Cultural History of Western Medieval Empires, edited by Matthew Gabriele. (pp. 00-00). London: Bloomsbury.

See more...

Teaching

  • HIH2019 Gendering the Middle Ages: Power and Exclusion

    This module introduces gender theory as it has been applied to medieval culture. It traces the development of gender studies from early attempts at medieval women's history through successive `waves┬┐ of feminist studies, to gendered approaches which broadened considerations to include masculinity, sexuality and transgender identities. Exploring case studies from the 5th to the 15th centuries, the course will introduce students to the processes by which many voices have been excluded from traditional medieval histories, offering an alternative view from the perspective of the disempowered.

  • HIH237 The Practice of History

    The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization. At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.

  • HIMM01 Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches

    This module introduces students to recent and current trends in medieval studies, to the research skills required for MA-level research, and to the medieval heritage of South Wales and the surrounding region. Seminars will consider the nature of medieval sources and texts, and a selection of themes that have made a significant impact upon medieval studies in recent years.

  • ML-M08 Gender and Culture: An introduction

    This module provides an overview of the main stages in the development of gender theory. It proposes the view that the study of history and culture through the prism of gender represents a genuine paradigm shift and introduces key contemporary issues such as the body, masculinity, and gender in visual, literary and material culture and the media. Students will be introduced to a range of theories and cultural contexts, and encouraged to use such concepts as starting points for their own areas of investigation concerning gender.

Supervision

  • Representations of the Mouth in Medieval Health and Culture (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Laura Kalas Williams
  • Recorded Responses to Epilepsy in the Late Antique and Medieval Period (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof David Turner

External Responsibilities